Friday, August 24, 2012

Why buy from the kindle india store ??

I was ecstatic when I came to know about Amazon finally opening its kindle India store. Took me some time to figure out how to reach there. (Covered in the latter part of this post)

Initial euphoria apart, I was disappointed by the list of books that was available. But definitely better than the situation I remember a few months back. A quick search on 2 popular titles (Melhua and Chetan Bhagat) and I thought 'Not too bad'. I had been searching for a kindle version of "Immortals of Melhua' for a long time.

But the actual good news for us kindle owners is to be able to pay in INR. I was not so sure if this is a big deal, so I dug out my past credit card bills and  did some search around how much difference does it make for each purchase.

Let' take an actual example. I just bought 'Immortals of Meluha'.
Date: Aug 24 2012
Price as on flipkart: 140 INR after discount on the MRP (195 INR ~3.5USD)
Price for Kindle edition: 112 INR (~1.19 USD)

"Thats not good" I thought. The exchange rate today (24 Aug 2012) is 55 INR for 1 USD.

Time to do some more research.. I dug up my old credit card statements. I was in for a surprise. I  had never taken note of how much I was being charged in the name of transaction charges.

On an average I found the each transaction I had done on my India (Visa) credit card had a mark up of at least 10-15 % on the actual forex transactions I had done.

A quick search will tell you that:

Following charges are applied by various entities involved in the transaction:

1. Currency Conversion fee– Whenever a foreign transaction takes place through your card network service providers (MasterCard or Visa), apply a conversion fee in the range of 1 to 2%.

2. Overseas Transaction Charge– Whenever a foreign transaction takes place through your card, the issuing bank applies a transaction fee in the range of 2.5 to 3.5% of the transaction amount.
Few other sources:

So it actually comes up to be slightly cheaper. The best part is that you know what price you are paying instead of waiting for the Credit card bill and realising that you have been ripped off.

I think it is a good deal but do check out what conversion rate amazon is providing before you hit 'pay'.

How to reach the India Kindle Store:

Instinctively I googled it hoping for a India specific link. And all I got was a bunch of news reports and sponsored ads by The trick is to

  1. Log into your Amazon Account
  2. Go to Your Account > Manage your kindle
  3. Go into Country settings and change the country to INDIA
  4. Now you can visit the kindle store which should now show you the India specific content.